Gather round all, and grab yourself a bowl of cozy Instant Pot Chili. This hearty, healthy pressure cooker chili recipe is made with wholesome ingredients, packs just the right amount of spice, and saves and reheats like a champ.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Instant Pot Chili Recipe
- It’s Packed with Simple, Nutritious Ingredients. Made with uncomplicated, healthy ingredients like ground turkey (or ground beef if you prefer), canned beans, and sweet potatoes, this chili is wholesome, hearty, and will warm you to your core. Like my Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili, this recipe has all the cozy appeal that chili should, but it’s full of ingredients you can feel good about.
- Great for Meal Prep or for a Crowd. Whether I’m cooking for a crowd or looking for a yummy meal to last us all week long, this easy Instant Pot chili is one of my favorite recipes to make (along with this Instant Pot French Onion Soup). It reheats beautifully, is freezer-friendly, and can be served in various ways to keep the leftovers interesting (see my “Leftover Ideas” box below for inspiration).
- The Instant Pot Makes it Easy. Instant Pot recipes like this one (and Instant Pot Beef Stew) are wonderful because they cook practically hands-free. Once you know how to cook chili in an Instant Pot, you’ll love how quickly it comes together, cuts down on dishes, and tastes like it’s been simmering away on the stove all day. Whether you’re new to Instant Pot cooking or trying to reconnect with the neglected pressure cooker in your cabinet, a healthy Instant Pot chili like this one is a great place to start.
5 Star Review
“This chili was wonderful! I followed the recipe exactly and loved it so much. The spice was perfect.”— Dylan —
How to Make Instant Pot Chili
- Ground Turkey. I made this as a ground turkey Instant Pot chili. Turkey is rich in filling protein and vitamins, making it the perfect healthy meat option for this chili (and this Healthy Turkey Chili).
- Veggies. I LOVE packing nutrient-dense vegetables into my chili (and this Instant Pot Carrot Soup); this recipe is no exception. A tasty combination of sweet potatoes and bell peppers helps make this chili extra hearty and nutritious. The veggies’ natural sweetness balances the smoky spices too.
- Canned Beans. It’s chef’s choice here! You can use black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, or a mixture. The beans give the chili body and help keep you full for hours.
- Chipotle Chile Powder. The secret, smoky somethin’ somethin’ that sets this chili apart from other recipes you’ve tried.
- Chili Powder + Cumin + Garlic Powder. With a little heat from the chili powder, these three are how you make chili more flavorful. They help give the chili that simmered-all-day flavor. (This Whole30 Chili is also bursting with spices.)
- Crushed Tomatoes. The tomatoes help provide both liquid and richness to the chili. Do not substitute for tomato sauce or tomato paste as they will not provide the quite same flavor, texture, or moisture.
- Sauté the Turkey. Cook it with the onion in the Instant Pot. Stir in the spices, then add the remaining ingredients.
- Pressure Cook. Cover, seal, and cook chili on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Serve with desired toppings, and DIG IN!
The Best Instant Pot Chili Toppings
- Avocado. Cool, creamy, and scrumptious with this chili (and this Chicken Tortilla Soup). This is one of our favorite chili toppings! Homemade Guacamole is delish too.
- Plain Greek Yogurt. My favorite healthy substitute for sour cream. We usually purchase nonfat, though low fat works well here too.
- Cilantro or Green Onions. Fresh and flavorful toppings that add a burst of color to and chili recipe (like this Crockpot White Chicken Chili).
- Cheese. For added indulgence, sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend on top of your bowl.
- Jalapeño. Turn up the heat with some diced jalapeño.
- Bacon. Instant Pot chili with bacon would be delicious! Add some cooked and crumbled pieces of Baked Bacon in the Oven over the top of your bowl. You could also start this recipe by sautéing chopped bacon directly in the Instant Pot until crispy, then remove it to a paper towel-lined plate, finish the recipe as directed, and sprinkle the bacon on before serving.
- Chips or Crackers. Offer some contrasting crunch with corn chips, crackers, or tortilla chips.
- Lime Wedges. A squeeze of fresh lime juice is great for adding some acidity to balance the flavors in the chili.
- Tomatoes. Add some diced tomatoes.
- To Store. Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm chili in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth as needed to thin the chili. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Place leftover chili in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Plan Tip
Chop all vegetables up to 1 day in advance, and store them in the refrigerator.
What to Serve With Instant Pot Chili
- Cornbread. Cornbread and chili is a can’t-miss combo! Try my Jalapeno Cornbread, Cornbread Muffins, or Mexican Cornbread.
- Vegetables. A side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Air Fryer Broccoli, or Air Fryer Asparagus would be tasty.
- Salad. Pair this chili with Arugula Salad, Winter Salad, or Apple Walnut Salad.
- Potato Skins. Potato Skins are a delicious, hearty appetizer or side for Instant Pot chili.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Pot. Other electric pressure cooker brands with similar cooking functions should work too. This is a great tool for making my crowd-pleasing Chili Mac.
- Ladle. I use this to transfer the chili to bowls and storage containers.
- Chef’s Knife. Perfect for chopping the vegetables in this recipe.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Thicken It Up. If you want to know how to thicken Instant Pot chili, simply let it simmer with the lid off for about 10 additional minutes. It will also thicken more as it cools.
- Scrape It Off. Be sure to scrape up any stuck-on brown bits of food on the bottom of the pot to keep the chili from registering a “burn error” in the Instant Pot.
- Swap the Veggies. Cubed butternut squash or chopped carrots are great alternatives if you don’t enjoy sweet potatoes. They have a similar flavor profile and will cook in a similar amount of time as the sweet potatoes.
- For the Spice Lovers. For an extra spicy Instant Pot chili, add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (start with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes). Another option is to add one or two diced chipotle chili peppers in adobo.
Instant Pot Chili
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (15-ounce) cans beans of your choice* rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2-2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or beef broth
- For serving: cilantro avocado, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Set an Instant Pot** to saute and drizzle in the olive oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the turkey, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, breaking apart and browning the meat until the turkey is no longer pink and the onion begins to soften, about 7 minutes.
- Add chili powder, chipotle chili, cumin, and garlic powder. Let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, beans, and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Stir well.
- Cover, seal, and set to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Quick release to vent the remaining pressure immediately. If the chili seems too thick, stir in additional chicken or beef broth to reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot with desired toppings.
- *INGREDIENT NOTE: Choose any mix of black beans, dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas. I used 1 can of black and 1 can of light red kidney.
- **TIP: If your Instant Pot is 6 quarts (this is the standard size), do not try to multiply this recipe. As written, it will fill the Instant Pot almost to the max line.
- TO STORE: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm chili in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth as needed to thin the chili. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Instant pot chili can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before warming.
- TO MAKE IN A SLOW COOKER: Sauté the meat, onions, and spices in a large nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Transfer to a lightly greased 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or low for 3 to 4 hours, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- TO COOK ON THE STOVETOP: Sauté the turkey, onions, pepper, and spices as directed, then add the remaining ingredients. Let simmer, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are soft and the chili is thickened, about 45 minutes.
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Frequently Asked Questions
I do not recommend making this Instant Pot chili with frozen beef (or any other frozen ground meat) since meat needs to fully brown and cook through to ensure it is safe and gives it great flavor.
I have not tried making this a dry beans Instant Pot chili recipe before, so it would be an experiment. Dried beans take much longer to cook than canned beans and require much more cooking liquid, so I fear by the time the beans cook, the other ingredients would be cooked to smithereens. I recommend keeping this as a chili in the Instant Pot with canned beans. (See Instant Pot Black Beans and Instant Refried Beans to use dry beans in your Instant Pot.)
Stir, scrape, and stir some more. Getting the dreaded burn notice on an Instant Pot is easier than you think. The appliance will issue a burn error if anything settles or sticks to the bottom, which is frustrating. However, I’ve found that being diligent about scraping up anything stuck on the bottom before sealing usually solves the issue of getting a burn error while cooking.
I find value in both cooking methods, so it’s up to your preference. If you’d prefer to cook this chili on the stovetop, here are the steps: Sauté the turkey, onions, pepper, and spices as directed, then add the remaining ingredients. Let simmer, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are soft and the chili is thickened, about 45 minutes. (Or check out this stovetop White Chicken Chili).
Some brands and models of pressure cookers have a chili setting. This setting is intended to be set to the best temperature and pressure settings for making chili in an Instant Pot. Honestly, I think it’s a bit gimmicky. For best results, following the cooking time (10 minutes on high pressure) suggested in this recipe.
Yes! For Instant Pot chili slow cooker style, sauté the meat, onions, and spices in a large nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Transfer to a lightly greased 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, until the sweet potatoes are tender.